I think I’m just going to get out of the way on this one and let y’all have at it.
Daily Archives: August 2, 2012
Maybe it’s just me, but I continue to sense that there something about the Crowell departure that sits differently with Mark Richt than is usually the case. Take his response to this question today:
Q: Is it difficult to replace Isaiah?
A: “We’ve got some running backs here so they will get it done. We feel like we have a good group of guys who can make plays for us.”
sweet cold. No mention of what has to be made up from last year’s production. No acknowledgement of Isaiah’s talent. Not even the “it’s unfortunate, but we’ve all got to move on… wish him the best” comment Richt usually offers in this context. Kind of strange, no?
This has to be some kind of record.
Two and a half years later, the substance Houston took in high school remains in his system, according to Richt.—
Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) August 02, 2012
And you can probably guess the best part.
Houston took substance unknowingly, Richt says, and it still hasn't left his system. UGA preparing to be without him, but hoping for best.—
(@Dawgs247) August 02, 2012
The reason I give that credence is because I have a hard time believing anyone who knows he’s going to be subjected to random drug testing in college would knowingly ingest something that would show up in drug tests for years afterwards.
But it’s in and he’s out. More details here.
UPDATE: Man, that AJ-C story has been updated with this rather incredible exchange between Greg McGarity and Mark Emmert:
The latest appeal came on July 12 when athletic director Greg McGarity sent a personal letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert:
“Mr. Houston, his parents and our staff acknowledge the fact that the results of that test severely impacted his ability to compete as a student-athlete at UGA, and the Houston family accepted the responsibility for this unfortunate situation. Since the initial test confirmation on April 13, 2010, Mr. Houston has been tested very frequently by the NCAA and UGA, and there is scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates that there has been no re-use over the past 2 1/2 years. While we have fought for Mr. Houston’s restoration of eligibility through every imaginable NCAA process available without any success, we will maintain our effort to see this through to the very end. It is disappointing to witness this scenario play out for 2 1/2 years with Mr. Houston’s eligibility in question. . . . We are appealing to you on behalf of the young man who has done everything possible to clear himself.”
Georgia did not get the reply it sought from Emmert. In a July 31 letter, he wrote:
“While I understand the institution’s empathy for Kolton’s situation, I am surprised the institution would make a request. That surprise stems in part from the fact that Kolton tested positive in subsequent drug tests after his initial sanction, and the Drug Test Appeals Subcommittee did not impose additional sanctions . . . due to the “declining value” argument that supported the conclusion that there was no use of the banned substance.[Emphasis added.] The exit test policy, however, which would require Kolton not to have elevated levels of the banned substance in his system prior to competing against other student-athletes who are competiting clean, is not something that can be appealed because doing so would undermine the purpose of the drug-testing program. . . . The fact remains that Kolton currently has the presence of a banned substance in his system and will not be able to participate in NCAA competition until that presence drops to an appropriate threshold.”
Get that? Emmert concedes that Houston hasn’t been using, but essentially accuses McGarity of having a lot of nerve asking the NCAA to take that into account. Crazy stuff…
UPDATE: Check out what Ron Courson had to say about the NCAA.
“This is an extremely unique and complex case. There has never been another case with the level of documented laboratory testing of anabolic steroid tapering in a student-athlete. The testing clearly demonstrates that there has been no re-use over the past two and a half years. This fact has been recognized by the NCAA drug testing committee and upheld on two separate appeal cases. We have continued to track Mr. Houston’s levels, which lowered initially, but have plateaued over the past year. We have exhausted every conceivable means at our disposal to identify why his test values will not drop the threshold level. Despite multiple physician, biochemist and toxicologist consultations, as well as multiple laboratory panels, we do not have a scientific explanation for this.”
“… After trying to work together with NCAA representatives over the past two and a half years with this case, it appears that the NCAA is only interested in hearing what I think when it serves their purpose and needs. Otherwise, I am summarily dismissed.
“The most distressing aspect of this case is the appearance that no one at the NCAA actually cares enough about this case to truly look at it in an objective manner. [Emphasis added.] We can clearly show with science that there has been no further drug use over a two and a half year period. We can show there is no performance enhancing benefit. … We are chasing an arbitrary threshold number that he is unable to metabolize to, yet no one, from the drug testing committee to Drug Free Sport to NCAA administrators and attorneys wants to hear any objective data supporting this.”
Gee, there’s a surprise.
Hi. We’re the NCAA. You may remember us from such hits as this…
“One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail, indeed, too big to even challenge,” Emmert said. “The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by the value of hero worship and winning at all costs. All involved in intercollegiate athletics must be watchful that programs and individuals do not overwhelm the values of higher education.”
… and this.
Ed Ray, the executive committee chair and Oregon State president, said university presidents and chancellors let the NCAA know at a meeting a year ago that a change in the culture of college athletics is needed.
“They said, ‘We’ve had enough. This has to stop. We have to reassert our responsibilities and charge to oversee intercollegiate athletics,’” Ray said. “So the first question you asked is, ‘Does this send a message?’ The message is, the presidents and the chancellors are in charge.”
Now you may wonder what all that high falutin’ language means in the real world. Not to worry, people. We’re on the mother.
Boosters would be allowed to contribute directly to the compensation of coaches, potentially controlling more of the terms under which coaches are paid, if a new NCAA proposal is adopted.
Under the plan, described in a 12-page NCAA document obtained by The Chronicle,boosters could come up with their own bonuses instead of giving their money to the athletic department and hoping that they would have the influence to get it written into a coach’s contract, one NCAA rules expert says.
Such a move, which would have to be approved by universities, could prove problematic if a booster gained too much control and later committed NCAA violations.
“Could prove problematic”? ’Ya think? Because nothing says the presidents and chancellors are in charge like giving Bobby Lowder a green light to buy coaches.
Oh, and tucked down a little further in the article is this:
One of the biggest proposed changes could be a philosophical one, as the NCAA recognizes that a guiding principle of its rules—competitive equity—may no longer be a priority.
“The playing field is not and has never been and never will be level,” said James F. Barker, president of Clemson University and chair of the NCAA working group that came up with the proposed changes. “To say the NCAA should try to create a level playing field is impossible and is not a wise path to take.”
That, my friends, is the sound of an organization giving up. The NCAA’s got child rape covered, but that core mission stuff… man, that’s hard work.